IRL: Rahal Letterman Racing files lawsuit

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST SCOTT SHARP AND PATRON SPIRITS HILLIARD, Ohio (November 28, 2007) -- Rahal Letterman Racing announces that it has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court Southern District of Florida...

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST SCOTT SHARP AND PATRON SPIRITS

HILLIARD, Ohio (November 28, 2007) -- Rahal Letterman Racing announces that it has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court Southern District of Florida Miami Division today against Scott Sharp Sports, LLC, Scott Sharp Inc., driver Scott Sharp (collectively "Sharp") and sponsor Patron Spirits.

The suit alleges, among other things, a breach by Sharp of a multi-year contract with Rahal Letterman Racing. The terms of the contract call for Sharp and Patron Spirits to participate in the IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Racing through 2008. Rahal Letterman Racing's suit seeks damages for, among other things, Sharp's breach of contract and Patron's interference with contractual relations as well as injunctive relief. Additionally, RLR will file an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction against Scott Sharp forthwith.

"We find it deeply unfortunate that Scott Sharp Sports and Scott personally have taken this course of action, given that they are contractually committed with Rahal Letterman Racing through 2008," said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. "We have learned that Scott is interested in racing somewhere else. If that is his direction in the future, so be it, but not in violation of his 2008 commitments. Their attempted legal maneuver to break the contract early is totally without merit. As such, Rahal Letterman Racing will vigorously and aggressively pursue our claims against Sharp and Patron and the remedies to which we are entitled, as well as defend our team against their unfounded allegations. We had hoped to avoid the ramifications of legal proceedings, but with the allegations against us becoming public record, it is important that we act quickly and decisively to obtain judicial intervention to protect our reputation and goodwill in the industry, as well as to prevent any interference with our relations with our sponsors and other business partners."

Sharp joined Rahal Letterman Racing in 2007 with Patron, rejuvenating his career by finishing eighth in the IndyCar Series. He scored ten top-10 finishes, three top-fives and won his first pole since 2001 when he led qualifying in Texas. He also finished sixth in this year's Indianapolis 500, the best finish of his 13 career Indy 500 starts.

RLR expects to be successful in its suit and therefore is planning on moving ahead with its plans for the 2008 season, including taking part in December tests in both the IndyCar Series and American Le Mans Series.

About Rahal Letterman Racing:

Rahal Letterman Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for more than a decade compiling 19 victories, 30 poles and one series championship (Bobby Rahal in 1992 in CART) and an Indianapolis 500 championship (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2007 Rahal Letterman Racing, campaigned two cars in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay with sponsorship from the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council and Scott Sharp with sponsorship from The Patron Spirits Company and partnered with Andersen Racing to run two entries in the Indy Pro Series. Additionally in 2007 Rahal Letterman Racing made its debut in the American Le Mans Series by entering a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GT2 category. Bell Microproducts served as the primary partner for the ALMS entry, which was driven by veteran sports car drivers Ralf Kelleners and Tom Milner.

-credit: rlr

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Series AUTOMOTIVE , INDYCAR